How much alcohol can you drink without serious harm to your health?

how to drink alcohol

People have different attitudes towards alcohol. Some can't stand a single night without a glass of beer, while others have never touched alcohol in their lives. Even a person without a degree understands that drinking alcohol daily harms the body, but what if we are talking about the optimal dose of alcohol? How much can you drink to reduce the health consequences of alcohol? This question is relevant to many. Let's try to find out.

How much alcohol you should not drink

I'll tell you right away - there is no consensus on this. Some scientists say that even in small amounts, alcohol has a detrimental effect on the body. Others believe that in small doses, alcohol is even beneficial. And there are also recommendations of the WHO (World Health Organization) according to which the dangerous dose of alcohol is 60 ml of ethanol for men and 50 ml for women. But since very few people consume ethanol in pure form (well, I hope), this is what an absolutely dangerous dose of alcohol looks like in terms of the drinks most are familiar with:

  • 180 g vodka for men and 150 g vodka for women
  • 1, 5 l. beer
  • 0. 5 l. wine

Absolutely dangerous dose of alcohol- average value of the amount of alcohol consumed enough to cause death.

But don't think that if you drink less than these values, nothing will happen to the body. Even if you ingest the equivalent of 30 ml of ethanol (90 g of vodka, 800 ml of beer or a large glass of wine) a day, you can seriously harm your health.

What happens if you drink alcohol every day?

Scientists have been researching this question for a long time. Recent evidence suggests that alcohol reduces the risk of atherosclerosis. It partly helps to avoid clogging blood vessels with cholesterol plaques. Why is cholesterol dangerous? This causes circulation problems. The blood stops circulating normally in the vessels because they are filled with cholesterol and the person may even die. Alcohol, on the other hand, "washes" the vessels and does not allow cholesterol to stagnate.

Does that mean you can drink alcohol every day? No. In this case, we are talking about extremely small doses of alcohol. Based on the same WHO recommendations, experts advise to completely abstain from alcohol at least two days a week. Of course, the longer you don’t drink, the better.

The optimal dose of alcohol, which is not very harmful to health, and may even bring certain benefits, is150 ml of dry red wine.

But that doesn’t mean you need to drink a small glass of wine every day, even if there are numerous stories circulating on the net, about how some grandfather drank a glass every day and lived to be 90 years old. Everything here is individual and it is necessary to take into account many factors - from chronic diseases to hereditary predispositions. Not to mention the fact that alcohol is categorically contraindicated for minors and pregnant women.

If you drink alcohol every day, the body will not be able to remove it from the body and an illness like alcoholism will start. There are 3 phases and we will cover them in this article. But first, let’s understand - how does alcohol affect a person in general?

How alcohol works

how alcohol affects the brain

What is alcohol in a scientific sense? This is ethyl alcohol produced by fermentation of sugar, yeast and starch. And all this "nuclear" mixture has an amazing property: it goes through all the stages of digestion incredibly fast. That is, while digesting soup for lunch (about 30 minutes) or chicken meat (up to 2 hours), alcohol quickly reaches its goal - human blood flow, sometimes even bypassing the liver, if you drink seriously. He just isn’t able to let such a large amount of alcohol through himself.

Alcohol starts to work badly in the circulatory system: it damages red blood cells (tiny bodies that make up blood), causing them to stick together and form blood clots. Blood clots in turn block the flow of blood in the small arteries, and this leads to clogging of the blood vessels in the brain. Therefore, there is a feeling of intoxication, similar to when the brain lacks oxygen.

Therefore, if you do not drink alcohol in moderation, the brain will be constantly in this state. This will lead to the degradation of many mental and physical functions - a condition comparable to drinking a lot of alcohol at once. A person cannot stand normally and does not give an account of his actions.

Scientists have already proven that alcohol damages DNA and increases the risk of cancer.

Stages of alcoholism

Alcohol consumption leads to alcoholism, which has three stages.

  1. In the first phase of alcohol dependence, a person gradually loses control over the amount of alcohol consumed, which leads to the appearance of pathological cravings for alcohol.
  2. In the second phase, a person even develops "immunity" to alcohol, more precisely, it seems so. In fact, if a person consumes more than 1 liter of alcohol at this stage, the body will seemingly begin to perceive alcohol more easily. In fact, this hides the development of serious diseases - hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, cancer of the esophagus and stomach.
  3. Phase III alcoholism is characterized by complete degradation of personality on the physical and mental plane. A person can no longer drink alcohol and in most cases dies.

Scientists believe that alcoholism is affected by a hereditary predisposition caused by insufficient production of enzymes that metabolize alcohol. But it is actually affected by the amount of alcohol consumed. You just don’t need to drink if you realize you’re losing control of yourself and an awkward body condition arises.

Why does a hangover occur?

how a hangover works

This question is asked by many the next morning after a busy party (usually with the words "well, I will definitely not drink anymore"). In fact, the explanation is very simple: alcohol enters the body's bloodstream terribly fast, but it comes out of it VERY slowly. And the human body cannot fully recover from a stormy night until the substance is completely destroyed and digested. This is how a hangover occurs.

Surely a lot of people googled how to avoid a hangover before they start celebrating another alcohol event. But the answer can be summed up in one sentence: do not drink in large quantities and then the alcohol will have time to leave the body before your head comes in contact with the pillow.

How to drink alcohol?

Researchers distinguish the so-called "northern" model of drinking from the "southern". The first includes Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Baltic countries, which drink a lot of alcohol, moreover, in shock doses, and not always often. The “Southern” model is typical of Spain, Italy, Greece, where I can drink even more often than in other countries, but less and less strong alcohol: for example, a glass of dry wine at dinner. No one drinks 100 g of vodka every day.

Scientists agree that the Southern model is safer for health, although they still note that daily alcohol consumption is detrimental to health. So don’t overdo it.